There are many diet plans out there today, and the striking thing about a lot of them is how complex they are. Gone are the days of just counting calories. Today’s diet plans come complete with a theory, a philosophy, a comprehensive diet plan, and exercise plan, and, more than likely, products that you can buy. In a way, that’s a good thing – it means that the theories behind these diets have been well thought out, and that the diets themselves are likely to promote good health as well as weight loss. On the other hand, there are some pitfalls to having and trying to follow a complex diet plan – namely, it’s complicated and can be hard to follow!
How many of us really have time to learn a complex new way of eating? If you have to lose fifty or a hundred pounds, and your weight is severely affecting your health and wellbeing, you might be able to justify the time and expense. If it’s a matter of wanting to lose five, ten or twenty pounds, however, how likely are you to subscribe fully to a whole new way of eating? Not very likely, is the answer!
So here, then, is a quick, easy solution to your weight loss needs, if you are in need of a ‘quick’ fix that doesn’t require too much thought. Just stop eating white foods. It’s as simple as that. If it’s white, don’t eat it.
Of course, there is one notable exception you may want to make: Milk. Milk is white, and, especially if you’re a woman, pregnant, or still growing, it may be detrimental to give up milk even for a short time. So let’s modify that advice a little: no white foods that are solid. Or even, if you like, no white starches.
That’s what it really comes down to. If you do away with all the white starches – white pasta, white rice, potatoes – and replace them with whole grain choices, over time, you are almost guaranteed to lose weight. This isn’t like the Atkins plan, that asks you to give up most carbohydrates. You can still eat brown rice, for example, and whole wheat bread and pasta. The white starches are refined, and they have the highest glycemic index. That means that they might cause insulin deficiency over time – they can even lead you to develop diabetes in the long term. In the short term, these white starches cause you to pack on the pounds – especially around your belly, which is the worst possible place to carry excess weight in terms of heart health.
If you want to go a little further with this plan, and lose weight a little more quickly, try giving up another category of white foods – fats that are solid at room temperature. This means no butter or margarine (technically, butter is white, not yellow – dairy companies dye it yellow to make it more appealing!) and no cheese (most cheese is white – and giving up white cheese doesn’t mean you should bulk up on cheddar!). Cutting out these high fat foods – particularly if they happen to be an ‘issue’ for you – will let you lose weight a lot faster.
Of course, there are some white foods that are actually good for weight loss. Consider lean white chicken breast, for example, or white fish such as cod or halibut, or even egg white (the leanest part of the egg)! There is nothing much to be gained by avoiding those foods, and over the long term, you probably shouldn’t. The point of the ‘no white foods’ diet, though, is to give you a simple formula that you can apply anywhere. In a restaurant or at a special event – no problem – eat what you want, as long as it isn’t white! There are no points to count up, no rules (except that one) to remember.
And here’s the hidden benefit – if you’re not eating any white foods, it leaves more room for ‘colorful’ foods that aren’t white – vegetables, for example, particularly yellow, orange and dark green ones. These are much healthier for your heart and, indeed, your whole body than their white equivalent, potatoes and starch. Not all white foods deserve to be avoided, but the benefits of this simple and effective approach can be great nonetheless.